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What Pediatricians Should Know before Studying Gut Microbiota

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences “L. Sacco”, Pediatric Clinical Research Center “Invernizzi”, Università di Milano, 20157 Milan, Italy
Department of Biosciences, Università di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Vittore Buzzi, Università di Milan, 20141 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(8), 1206;
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin-Gut-Breast Microbiota Axes)
Billions of microorganisms, or “microbiota”, inhabit the gut and affect its homeostasis, influencing, and sometimes causing if altered, a multitude of diseases. The genomes of the microbes that form the gut ecosystem should be summed to the human genome to form the hologenome due to their influence on human physiology; hence the term “microbiome” is commonly used to refer to the genetic make-up and gene–gene interactions of microbes. This review attempts to provide insight into this recently discovered vital organ of the human body, which has yet to be fully explored. We herein discuss the rhythm and shaping of the microbiome at birth and during the first years leading up to adolescence. Furthermore, important issues to consider for conducting a reliable microbiome study including study design, inclusion/exclusion criteria, sample collection, storage, and variability of different sampling methods as well as the basic terminology of molecular approaches, data analysis, and clinical interpretation of results are addressed. This basic knowledge aims to provide the pediatricians with a key tool to avoid data dispersion and pitfalls during child microbiota study. View Full-Text
Keywords: gut microbiota; microbiome; maternal–fetal interface; newborn; child; pediatric disease; dysbiosis gut microbiota; microbiome; maternal–fetal interface; newborn; child; pediatric disease; dysbiosis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Drago, L.; Panelli, S.; Bandi, C.; Zuccotti, G.; Perini, M.; D’Auria, E. What Pediatricians Should Know before Studying Gut Microbiota. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1206.

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